The evening of entertainment—which will feature performances by the edgy likes of Julie Atlas Muz, Scotty the Blue Bunny and the Happy Hour Clowns—will benefit a program that goes by the stodgy name of Accessing Real Estate for the Arts (A.R.E.A.). The initiative was designed to "create temporary art performance space using underutilized New York City real estate donated to Chashama on a temporary basis."
The event will honor David and Jed Walentas, the father and son executive team of Two Trees Management Company, for their contributions to the New York City artistic community. Concurrent with the A.R.E.A. Program, Two Trees Management has donated real estate to hundreds of artists and non-profit arts organizations.
Chashama artistic director, Anita Durst, knows a little something about real estate. She is the eccentric scion of the powerful New York City land-owning Durst clan, which possesses several parcels around and about Times Square. Until recently, family head Douglas Durst allowed his iconoclastic daughter to operate Chashama out of a warren of theatre spaces on 42nd Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues—all in the shadow of the towering Conde Nast buiding. The forces of commerce finally forced Chashama to move in March 2004.
Individual tickets for the fundraiser are $150 and $300 (the latter price includes five raffle tickets). Tables are $15,000 (Visionaries: reserved table and ten gala tickets, name prominently displayed on invitation and event program, full-page advertisement in event program, and a VIP Cruise on the NY Water Taxi for 30 Guests), $10,000 (Developers: reserved table and ten gala tickets, name prominently displayed on invitation event program, half-page advertisement in event program, and an original artwork by chashama artist-in-residence) and $5,000 (Architects: reserved table and ten gala tickets, name prominently displayed on invitation event program, and a half-page advertisement in event program).
A silent auction will contain works donated by Chashama artists in residence. Raffle prizes include tickets and membership packages to major NYC cultural institutions and gift certificates to New York City restaurants. To date, A.R.E.A. has received contributions of more than 100,000 square feet in 20 properties from the New York City community. Contributors, besides Mr. Gural, include: Bruce Ratner, Forest City Ratner; Peter Duncan, George Comfort and Sons; David Brause, Brause Realty; and, of course, Douglas Durst.
Further information can be obtained at www.chashama.org.